Journal Article

Cross-Reactivity of Tapentadol Specimens with DRI Methadone Enzyme Immunoassay

Ayodele A. Collins, A. Paola Merritt and James A. Bourland

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 36, issue 8, pages 582-587
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Cross-Reactivity of Tapentadol Specimens with DRI Methadone Enzyme Immunoassay

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A substantial incidence of positive methadone screens for pain management urine specimens using a commercial enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was observed in the absence of a methadone prescription, with negative methadone confirmation by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS-MS). Tapentadol was the only common prescription among the investigated specimens. Tapentadol or one of its three major metabolites was tested at various concentrations (100–200,000 ng/mL) against the DRI EIAs for methadone and methadone metabolite, to evaluate cross-reactivity. Ninety-seven authentic tapentadol urine specimens that produced false-positive methadone EIA results (cutoff = 130 ng/mL) were analyzed for methadone and tapentadol in compound-specific UPLC–MS-MS confirmation tests. Tapentadol, tapentadol glucuronide, tapentadol sulfate and N-desmethyltapentadol exhibited cross-reactivity with the methadone EIA at 6,500 (2.2%), 25,000 (0.6%), 3,000 (4.4%) and 20,000 ng/mL (0.9%), respectively. No cross-reactivity was observed with the methadone metabolite 2-ethylidine-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine EIA. All authentic urine specimens were confirmed to be negative for methadone, but positive for tapentadol and all monitored metabolites. Individual concentrations indicated that separate or combined urinary concentrations of tapentadol and its conjugates may produce false-positive methadone screens through cross-reactivity with the methadone immunoassay. The potential for false-positive results for methadone EIA screening of urine specimens associated with tapentadol prescriptions should be considered when interpreting results.

Journal Article.  2459 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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